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Is Artificial Intelligence What You Think?


Jan. 24, 2023, 12:42 p.m.

A few days ago, I had an online chat with some friends about ChatGPT and noticed that aside from this enthusiasm and excitement about using ChatGPT, most of them, lack a general understanding of AI. Indeed, ChatGPT is an AI solution, built by Open AI using Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing and Neural Networks. I can tell you more about that later, but today I’m going to focus on a topic that I think will help you understand and navigate easily in this AI boom. Once you understand what AI is, you can benefit from it and contribute a lot without fear of being left out.

You probably heard a lot about AI. Like some of you, I grew up in a society where the media has power. Before getting fully involved in the AI space, What media sold to me about AI was fear and not AI as a solution. For example, movie scripts were about AI robots with a mission to destroy the world. But today I can list a lot of AI products built to solve challenges with high social impact.

Now let’s have a better understanding of AI.

  • All algorithms are not AI algorithms

In IT, an algorithm is used by a programmer to instruct a machine to perform a specific task. In other words, Algorithm is a series of logical instructions used step by step by the machine to solve problems. We naturally deal with algorithms in our daily life while performing some simple actions. For example, cooking light goat soup using a recipe or going to the village by bus. For these actions, we know what steps we have to take and follow to get our expected result. And yes, that’s the logic behind algorithms that are used to solve problems. Note that machines understand algorithms through programming languages ( such as Javascript, C#, R, Ruby, Python, C, Kotlin, etc…)

If you are good at writing algorithms, you will be a good programmer who can write easily in any existing programming language of your choice.

Now that we know what an algorithm is, it is important to note that all algorithms are not AI algorithms.

An AI algorithm is an algorithm that has the ability to learn from data and improve over time with the simulation of natural intelligence. Any machines that are programmed to learn and mimic the actions of humans are artificial intelligence. Remember what I said earlier, traditional algorithms run on a predefined set of guidelines as input to make the solution as output. The difference here is the ability of machines to embrace human intelligence

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  • Not all problems require the use of artificial intelligence

We have a lot of examples of algorithms that solve human problems and don’t require the use of AI algorithms. Whenever you encounter a problem, choose the algorithm that best solves the problem.

One of the mistakes we do, is to enforce the use of AI everywhere. Be a problem solver , “ Build to solve” and not “Build to build” . Note that If you choose an inadequate algorithm, you will end up with a “deficient AI solution” because you failed to consider factors such as the problem itself, the infrastructure, the data availability and the ethical concerns.

When I am engaging with my tech buddies, I like to take calculators as an example. We all know that we have been taught in school how to count and calculate. But it wasn’t that fun and easy for everyone, the calculator was built with the need to support humans performing calculations faster and getting accurate answers. And most of the calculators we use don’t use AI algorithms.

Another example is the use of robots to perform specific tasks. If you didn’t know, all robots are not using AI. Robots are programmed to perform repetitive movements/actions autonomously or semi-autonomously and interact with the physical world using sensors. In the past few years, we have seen a lot of robots using AI because the goal was to power them to perform complex tasks.

  • You are already using Artificial intelligence

If you are reading me, and believe that you never interact with an AI solution, let me tell you it is not true. A lot of devices we use are built on top of AI models. When you hear “smart ….” , know that you are dealing with an AI engine. Some of the smart devices are:

  • Smart watches that we wear and connect to our phone. These smart watches use AI to analyze, and interpret data about your health.
  • Smart speakers such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home are based on artificial intelligence.
  • Smart Home security systems use AI to help us detect and identify intruders.

And all the existing virtual assistants (example: Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana) that we used to make phone calls and send messages by giving voice instruction are relying on artificial intelligence.

Aside from the “Smart devices”, our phones have a lot of features using AI. For example, the Photos app on the iPhone uses AI to automatically organize and categorize photos based on specific people’s faces. If you are an iPhone user, you probably used face ID to unlock your phone and secure some of your preferred apps.

Artificial intelligence is also used in various industries such as health, Education, Finance, Agriculture and media. There is a potential in this technology that we can leverage to build sustainable solutions.

What next about AI?

AI systems still cause a lot of fear. Many researchers make assumptions based on their experiences and faith. Nobody is 100% sure that these assumptions will happen. What we are sure of is that AI has evolved over time and continues to amaze us.

We currently use many AI systems that can learn from data and improve their performance over time. But in the field of AI, we also speak of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), a stage where AI systems understand, and learn any intellectual task that a human being can, and also learn from their own experiences. And many large tech companies (for example OpenAI, Google’s DeepMind, Facebook’s AI Research (FAIR) lab, IBM’s Watson, etc..) are investing to see more AGI systems in the market. There is also an expected final stage called Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI), where AI systems are fully ready to perform tasks beyond the capabilities of human intelligence.

Is this going to happen? To be honest, I don’t know. Maybe YES, maybe NO.

If you intend to create AI solutions, make sure you are responsible enough to consider the ethical aspect and the level of impact.


tag: tech, Deep Learning, Machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, Apps,

Charlette Desire Source